Sunday, February 2, 2014

Espresso Pork'N'Beans


It's a grey and gloomy day on  California's central coast. But we're getting some much needed rain, so I'll refrain from complaining. It was the perfect day for a slow-cooked pot of beans while we all do our own thing. D's building thing with blocks and playing his piano. R is inventing something. And Jake is scouring real estate listings. Me? Well, I went to play in the kitchen!

I decided that I liked the process of my Persimmon Pork and Beans - simmered on the stove instead of baked in the oven - and wanted to incorporate espresso, inspired by Breakfast for Dinner by Lindsay Landis and Taylor Hackbarth.

1 lb dry beans* (I used organic Blue Coco Beans from Coke Farms)
1 onion, peeled and diced
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots , chopped
8 ounces applewood smoked bacon
2 C coffee
2 C water
2 T instant espresso powder
4 T unsulphured molasses
1/2 C organic dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 C organic coconut sugar
1 C fresh tomato sauce
3 T apple cider vinegar
4 chicken sausage, cut into 1" chunks


*Prepare your dry beans. Click for a how-to: here. You can do this the night before and keep in the fridge till you're ready to use them. If you are using pre-cooked beans, I think I had about 4-5 cups.

In a large soup pot, sweat your onions in a splash of olive oil until they begin to turn translucent. Spoon in the diced bacon and cook until the fat is rendered. Stir in the carrots and celery. Add the beans. Add all of the other ingredients. Bring to a boil. Cover. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 3 hours. Stir every 30 minutes, or so, so that the beans don't burn and stick to the bottom. During the last 30 minutes, stir in your sausages. By the end of 3 hours, the liquid will have reduced and thickened.

I didn't use any because there was plenty of flavor. But if you want, add in salt and pepper to taste.

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